Comments for Everyday Feminism Sun, 30 Jun 2013 02:00:36 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Rihanna and Eminem on domestic violence by Originally posted by me on ‘Everyday Feminism’ | Caitlin Snark Sun, 30 Jun 2013 02:00:36 +0000 […] Original Article […]

Comment on SEXING UP WOMEN EMPLOYEES – IS IT FAIR OR FOUL? by Cherie Fri, 20 Jan 2012 11:29:30 +0000 I liked what you said about ” the problem is that ‘sexing up and dumbing down’ lies in the attitudes of people & its something that we have all unconsciously grown up with and internalised. ” Women accept it because we are expected to look that way. I find that we can place certain standards on ourselves because of the culture we are in and the people we are around. I find that even with church – i go to church & all the women wear dresses & look ‘perfect’ with the ‘best’ outfits on. I go to church in my comfortable clothing of a tea- shirt and sports pants. Not because i don’t have a suit or nice clothing for work – but because i’m not one to conform to other peoples expectations on how i should look; and to get the tick of approval. In the workplace i will need to look sharp and wear really nice clothing. But, i think that in other areas of life – it depends on the image you want to portray to others. I’m studying law at the moment – i think there is a tendency toward imbalance (that you mention). I’m praying that i find a husband that likes to cook and clean because i don’t agree wiht the ideological perceptions of men and women.

Comment on The Gender Pay Gap Grossly Underestimates Women's Economic Inequality by ordishjohan Tue, 24 Aug 2010 00:36:18 +0000 This article seems to dip its toes into the gendered division of part time and full time employment, but never seems to weight these sectors in the current context. For example much of the news coming out recession plagued countries saw an increase in structural unemployment with the shutting of large male dominated industry, whereas part time employment soared. This type of situation is especially relevant in an age which corporations cull their full time workforce in favor of a casual one (if one believes Naomi Klein.) It would be rather interesting if these kind of factors were taken into account.

Comment on Gender norms for teenage girls? by Ana Nomous Fri, 07 May 2010 10:07:24 +0000 Touché Anita. That was awesome 🙂

Comment on Herald Columnist Garth George by Erika_23 Thu, 18 Dec 2008 21:35:46 +0000 You Choose Sexism
(By Erika Sirimanne – 19th December 2008)

Sexism today is such a dirty word. Beginning with the first wave of feminism it has been bantered about, used to label a plethora of issues. Depending on your perspective it can mean a variety of things, but simply it refers to the discrimination or devaluation of an individual or group based on their sex or gender. Some would think those two words – sex and gender – synonymous, but others would argue to the contrary.

Sex indicates biological differences, whereas gender is a social construct. So while Herald columnist Garth George contends that ‘men and women are genetically programmed for differing roles’, where is his proof? Perhaps the difference is not in our genetic makeup, but more so in the roles society persuades us to undertake. From birth boys and girls are prescribed two very different standards of behaviour for living. Boys should play with cars, be robust and assertive; while girls should play with dolls, be demure and diplomatic. It is acceptable for boys to be rowdy, enjoying the rough and tumble of play, yet girls are not so nearly encouraged. In this way we emboss children with a blueprint for living, an attitude that pervades all aspects of life and is considered entirely normal. But is it normal?

George would have us believe that indeed it is, nonetheless I tend to disagree with him. Society attaches certain characteristics to the idea of masculinity and femininity and then connects these ideas to male and female biology. Masculinity is commonly associated with assertiveness, strength and dominance. Conversely femininity represents passivity, nurturing and sub-dominance. The unfortunate bonding of these dichotomies to male and female biological differences has cemented the notion that to be male is to be masculine and vice versa. Consequently this provides the rationale for the separation of women and men in both the public and private sphere. In the home, women roast the chicken while men mow the lawns. In the world of paid work, men lead the team while women support it.

Scholars may argue that these gender identities are the result of the historical division of labour, hunter-gatherer, protector-nurturer; however how relevant are they in the milieu of today? More importantly what happens when someone breaks this identity mould? How does a homosexual male fit in with the concept of masculinity? Likewise do we consider a dominant female leader with no children feminine? Our understanding of masculinity and femininity is greatly influenced by the media, our upbringing and our culture. Frankly, there is no definition and who’s to say there is a right or wrong way. Yet as time passes more and more people struggle to fit this mould and as a result they are ostracised, ridiculed and marginalised.

New Zealand along with the rest of the world is in a constant state of flux, therefore it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate and categorise individuals into pre-prescribed roles. We now experience great labour and capital mobility as the world becomes ever more globalised and sex, age, sexuality and ethnicity factors are no longer constant. As a result the lines between masculine and feminine, male and female are gradually blurring. In recent times the world witnessed the monumental election of an African-American President to one of the world’s most powerful nations. If racial divisions are gradually eroding, why is that gender bias still remains strong – so strong in fact that journalist Garth George proudly labels himself a sexist with no fear of reprimand or shame?

Perhaps the answer lies in individual attitudes. George’s attitude toward women and men relegates them to certain activities and roles – an attitude that possibly originated from values and traditions taught to him as a child. He claims that a return to those older traditions celebrated in the past would bring about greater social order and harmony and we would be almost certainly extricated from our current problems. True in part that as a society we have lost some positive qualities, however it is greatly irresponsible and ignorant to associate abortion with violence as the primary cause. It is an insult to every victim of violence to lay blame outside the perpetrator. Every person who raises their hand against another does so with the exact intention of harming that person, either physically or psychologically. It is a conscious decision that bears no excuse. Rather than embrace growing diversity and become involved in the discourse of solutions for violence, George chooses to devalue women and their right to be heard. Rather than accept that violence committed in any way, shape or form is the result of one’s attitude, he chooses to believe that abortion, multiculturalism, and equality of the sexes are to blame. In this way George’s attitude both supports and exacerbates a worldview which tolerates violence and discrimination. Quite simply, people like Garth George guarantee the continued existence of such social evils.

Sexism is what it is – devaluation. It’s not a politically correct term, rather it refers to a chosen state of mind. Sexists choose to treat people differently depending on their sex and they chose to enforce stereotypes on those around them. I simply don’t understand why anyone would knowingly, willingly display such prejudice, but I suspect such an attitude originates from some modicum of fear – fear of a world that is changing or fear of what challenges one’s values. In any case society is not an unstoppable force. To change the attitude of one individual begins a chain reaction of transformation within society. To alter the sum, start with the parts. Maybe George can lead the way.

Comment on NORWAY TOPS GENDER EQUALITY LIST, NEW ZEALAND IS 5TH by Alexia213 Sun, 16 Nov 2008 00:02:24 +0000 I wonder how NZ’s standing will be affected by the change in government? I feel like any publicity about our international gender eqality ranking will have a negative rather than positive effect- I think there is a sort of general laissez-faire attitude towards the whole issue in NZ, like the battle has been fought and won. I noticed an article on today about the report- it emphasised the progress NZ has made but not really the gaps that still exist! Perhaps publicity about NZ’s high ranking will only create even more complacency!

Comment on Finally, a Feminist Perspective on the Current Global Financial Crisis by dominique Wed, 12 Nov 2008 22:25:01 +0000 it seem this article began by encouraging women to promote change from the strangles of a pre existing system but soon jumped to then set about proving women could prosper in this system and encouraged them to get what they could out of it.I feel like the argument for change from a competitive ( a masculine theme of men as purely competitive agents in the state of nature) economc system to something that instead promotes co-operaion and equality is then contridicted by a desire to be just as good (or bad) as competitive and cut throat as the system requires you to be.are we going to take this oppurtunity to fight a system by playing by the same values and getting what we can out of it ( just add women and stir) or are we going to turn it upside and enforce a new set of political values?

Comment on NZ destination for sex slaves, US report reveals by dominique Wed, 12 Nov 2008 22:04:39 +0000 i hope many of thoose that support the legalisation of prostitution take the time out to watch that clip from Lyn Mason and look at the statistics avaliable and case studies of the effect prostitution has had on the sex trafficking industry. Many will argue that prostittuion like any industry is based in the rules of supply and demand but might we consider that when you condone something you actually increase the interest and demand of you think sometimes we need to think of the concequences of our will and the price some will pay so we can enjoy a paricular degree of freedom?

Comment on If Women Were More Like Men: Why Females Earn Less by Erika_213 Sun, 19 Oct 2008 22:32:51 +0000 This article opens up a whole new dimension of gender analysis and reinforces that gender discrimination is a real issue, not one lost in antiquity.

In NZ, 2007 Labour Market Statistics calculated that women earn 84% of the average hourly earnings of men. Critics around the world (and in NZ) argue that discrimination does not exist and that the gender pay gap can be attributed to differences in education levels, work experience or childbearing career breaks.

Findings such as those above demonstrate that certain elements of the pay gap have not been properly addressed and need further study and discussion.

I think this tactic was a stroke of genius and hopefully more research will be conducted in the future to investigate the real reason behind the gender and ethnicity pay gap.

Comment on Finally, a Feminist Perspective on the Current Global Financial Crisis by Jessica Lemieux Sun, 19 Oct 2008 06:13:03 +0000 Thank you Aude for the insightful article. I’ve come to the same conclusion myself. I am applying this concept to another situation, that of women in conflict. Here I could use your advice. I am doing research for a conference in December on girl and women combatants. More specifically, how international law addresses (or doesn’t address) women in conflict. To evaluate this I’m taking a feminist (most likely post-modern) perspective on different international agreements. Do you have any suggestions for articles on the subject or anyone who has studied this before?
It would be much appreciated!

Thanks you,

Jessica Lemieux